Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

07-21-08

Contacts:

Dan Nettleton, Statistics, 515-294-7754, dnett@iastate.edu

Yongzhao Shao, Statistics, 515-294-4257, yshao@iastate.edu

Dan Kuester, News Service, 515-294-0704, kuester@iastate.edu

Two Iowa State faculty to be named American Statistical Association fellows

AMES, Iowa -- Two faculty members from Iowa State University's department of statistics, Dan Nettleton and Yongzhao Shao, will be named fellows of the American Statistical Association (ASA) in August at that organization's annual meeting in Denver.

The organization honors only one-third of one percent of its members as fellows each year, yet more than one-third of the current ISU statistics faculty are ASA fellows. The graduate program in statistics is ranked fifth in the nation by U.S. News and World Report magazine.

One of the reasons Nettleton is receiving the honor is his research with members of Iowa State's biosciences projects.

"I collaborate with genome scientists and help them design experiments and analyze data," said Nettleton. "When it becomes necessary, I work to develop new research methods to answer scientific questions."

Nettleton, who has been at Iowa State for eight years and is a native of Algona, hopes that he is helping plant biologists get answers to complex genomic research questions more quickly than they could previously.

"Before they were able to track one gene in an experiment," he said. "Now they can study 25,000 genes at one time."

Shao's research is focused on a different side of biosciences.

"I collaborate with medical doctors on drug trials," he said. "In all drug therapy you need trials to see if the drug works. I work to make sure the two groups -- control and research groups -- are balanced and comparable."

Without having balanced and comparable groups, the trials would be less valuable, he said.

Shao has been at Iowa State less than a year, but is already happy he came.

"We have a wonderful statistics tradition and a truly excellent department," said Shao.

Shao also works in broader fields of statistical methodology (ensuring the right statistical tools are used for problems) and inference (looking at what information can be learned from data that has been collected).

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Quick look

Dan Nettleton and Yongzhao Shao will be named fellows of the American Statistical Association in August at the annual meeting in Denver.